To quote the national Bard: "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men Gang aft agley" And my plans for this week were...

The Perfect Picnic

Sunday, June 19, 2016 BookBairn Blog 10 Comments

To quote the national Bard:

"The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men
Gang aft agley"


And my plans for this week were well and truly scuppered but the British summer weather. Believe it or not this week was National Picnic Week - I know, perfect weather for a picnic. BookBairn and I had a little indoor picnic to celebrate and read a lovely recent book release.


What makes the perfect picnic? Personally, I would like a little bit of sunshine so that I don't have to eat soggy sandwiches! BookBairn happily settled for a plate of her favourite nibbles on our picnic rug and a fabulous new story book all cosied up inside.

In 'The Perfect Picnic' by Ciara Flood, Mole and Squirrel are planning a fabulous picnic with perfect sandwiches and perfect cake in the perfect spot. Mole and Squirrel are unlikely best friends. Squirrel likes things neat, tidy and perfect. Mole doesn't care about those things. Whilst preparing the picnic, Squirrel is preoccupied by making sure everything is perfect, right down to the butter on the sandwiches. Mole doesn't mind, he just wants to have a fun picnic. When they set off to find the perfect picnic spot, neither notices the hole in the backpack and their lunch gradually falls out all over the woodland. Returning to the very first spot they considered (this is all too reminiscent of Daddy BookBairn and I trying to choose restaurants whilst on holiday: we wander round and round and then return to the first menu we considered, having wasted half an hour, feet hurting and me developing a mean case of 'hangry'), they soon discover the hole in their plans. But will they manage to salvage their picnic? Fortunately, help is at hand and all the forest animals rally together to rescue the picnic.

This book is beautifully illustrated using a soft colour palette, perfect for a gentle summers day picnic. The pages are packed with details and much of the story is told through the illustrations: you would only realise about the hole in the backpack if you spotted it in the illustrations. I love the opening pages that show inside each characters house and take me back to my days pouring over the Jill Barkley's Brambly Hedge books. There is so much for little readers to explore! My favourite illustration has to be when Squirrel discovers the picnic treats have fallen out of the backpack: it is clearly based on Edvard Munch's The Scream. It made me laugh out loud: I love it when authors/illustrators add a little something to appeal to adults sense of humour too! The end pages of the book feature the map that Squirrel and Mole use to find the perfect picnic spot, which I think slightly older readers would love. You could follow their picnic trail and act out the story whilst on your own picnic. The characters are adorable and wonderfully expressive, especially Squirrel: you can see what he is thinking, it's written all over his face. Quite honestly, I love this pair! I would quite happily join them for their picnic.

It seems as though the sun may be returning, so perhaps we will actually enjoy a real outdoor picnic in the next week!
Happy picnicing, Mummy and BookBairn xx



Read With Me


*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.

10 comments:

  1. I like the look of BookBairn's picnic platter. I can remember organising indoor picnics for MummyBookBairn with all her cuddly toys on the picnic rug surrounded by lots of house plants while the Scottish rain battered of the windows. Great fun!!

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    1. I thought about getting all the toys out but she seemed quite happy just to munch on her ham sandwiches.

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  2. Aww this looks like a lovely book! We love indoor picnics, too! So much fun :) #ReadWithMe

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  3. Typical British weather lol. Look like both the picnic and the book were thoroughly enjoyed!! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    1. It's such a shame we didn't try for a picnic during the spell of nice weather - that will teach me!

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  4. We really love this book too. Did BookBairn have butter on her sandwiches?

    #readwithme

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  5. Ah this book is on our pile to be reviewed, we love it! Your indoor picnic looks very lovely but I hope you managed one outside too?
    #readwithme

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    1. We managed one this weekend! Thanks x

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